My dear readers and well-wishers, India is currently transpiring through a historical turning point. I believe we have to agree that even after 70 years of independence, several governments have ruled and left but none have been truly successful in satisfying the needs and expectations of the general public. As they say, as the ruler so the ruled. Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi is considered a saintly person. However, how efficient he would have been as someone running the nation, I leave it for you to conclude.
Human culture has come a long way since the creation of man. Man started living in groups, and then the Society was created. Eventually nation spirit and governance set in. On some day, at some moment, an ambitious and strong man with great leadership qualities stood up and decided to take things into his own hands, called people with the same thoughts, purposes and behaviour together, and formed an authoritative group. In time, the feudal group expanded, established power and evolved. First comes feudalism, then came monarchy, and over time with experiences passed on through generations, democracy came to become more acceptable.
Over 2500 years ago, under the guidance of Chanakya, Emperor Chandragupta had created an integral India. I would like to believe that spirit continues to this day, as despite scarring differences within the country, India has held on to itself and continues to host diversity and culture. In his book 'Arthshastra', Chanakya has clearly stated that a good governance means 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas'. It was during his era that the panchayat system was born. Today, panchayat raj can be considered as one of the pillars of democracy. It won't be an overstatement to say India stands tall and firm today. A brief look at the last 1000 years of Indian history stands testimony for the country's journey. 1100 years back, Adi Shankaracharya had traveled on foot across the country. Jagannath Puri in the East, Dwarka in the West, Badrinath in North and Kanchi Kamkoti in the South were all established. Jyotirling stotra were created. All 12 Jyotirlings in India were highlighted. In that sense, India is an elegant mixture of spirituality, modernity, and ancient history.
Having said this, I am astonished at the kind of environment has been created by ongoing elections in the country. Verbal shots are being fired left and right, and it's perfectly expected. What has caught me by surprise is how all political parties have united against Narendra Modi and are stooping to any level to bring him down, despite their own lack of clarity or ambition.
I know what you are thinking. The polls are being held in India, how does it affect us? Given the current situation of global connectivity, the government of one nation inherently also affects another nation. It doesn't hurt one to keep himself aware of international politics and when it comes to India, I find myself unwittingly alert and keen on how my motherland progresses with time. In the beginning of this column, I asked a million dollar question on what kind of political leader Mahatma Gandhi would have been. If one sits to contemplate all successful political leaders in the country, Narendra Modi comes first in mind. Yes, before you pounce at me, I know, Modi is not flawless. But then, who really is? I openly deject the notion of him being called a “rogue” and would like to put across my point of view openly and responsibly.
Yes, I left India decades ago, and yes, my passport isn't Indian, but as Raj Kapoor melodiously sang:
“Mera joota hai Japani, Patloon Englishtani,
Sar pe lal topi Rusi, fir bhi dil hai Hindustani.”
My patriotism towards India is not to be questioned, I won't allow it. While Britain is my Karmabhoomi, my love towards my Janmbhoomi still stands pure. After all, doesn't the Great Britain allow everyone to foster their own opinions?
I believe Narendra Modi is powerful. He is involved. He is determined. He is patriotic, and most importantly, he is here for his people. Modi is working diligently to bring his country to the pedestal. He is always on his toes, a quality that is exemplary and essential in a Prime Minister. He took up reigns as the chief minister of Gujarat, and then took over as the PM. Modi has almost one and a half decade's worth of experience running the state. And yet, there is not one person on this planet who can point their finger at him when it comes to corruption.
We might be staying abroad today, however, India's prevailing circumstances are our and our family's principal responsibility. Indian national politics affects the globe today. There was a time when only Russia even cared to befriend India, and look at the country image upliftment today! Barring China and Pakistan, all other countries in the world openly stand beside India. While Palestine has always been friendly with India, now, its rival national Israel too expresses keenness towards it. India has maintained stable and balanced relations with both of them without miffing the other.
India conducted a much-needed airstrike on terrorist-cradling nation Pakistan, and not a single nation came forward and condemned India for doing so. In fact, countries came forward in support for us. The same was the case in the previous surgical strike. Dear readers, these are flowers bloomed from the seeds planted by Narendra Modi.
Not only on the international level, Modi has paved quite the path on a national level too. Make in India, Skill India, Goods and Services Tax, zero balance facility-deriving Jan Dhan Yojana, curbs on corruption at the lowest level, there are several achievements to Modi's name. According to the government, 3.71 Lakh villages are free from public defecation and urination in the last 48 months. While toilets have been built in 77 Crore houses under the Swachh Bharat mission. 1,71,383 km long roads have been built under the Pradhan Mantri Dram Sadak Yojana. There is also the Ujjwala Yojana, and the Saubhagya Yojana that will provide electricity to each and every house in the rural areas. Imagine women still using a wood fire stove for cooking, seven decades after independence. The lack of progress makes one cringe.
Zero tolerance towards black money. After the notorious demonetisation, 3 Lakh bogus companies were shut down. Over 20,000 companies with funding from abroad closed. To encourage self-employment, the Mudra Yojana offers up to Rs 7 Crore in loans without guarantee. 1.30 Crore houses for the economically challenged and the homeless, electricity in houses, were all promises made by the Congress in 2004, 2009, and 2014. However, they were all put into effect by Modi.
Today, streets in the most rural areas are lit with electricity. India has in effect, the world's largest health protection scheme that provides health provisions to more than 5 crore families. Over 5000 pharmacies to make medication affordable, broadband connections in 1.16 Lakh villages. 50,000 in 2016, and 1.86 Lakh bulletproof vests in 2018, to the jawans.
The list, as I have proven, is long. This is just the tip of the iceberg, the wonders Modi government has done to the country is beyond commendable. For those holding their breaths, I would like to says yes, the past five years under Modi has not been entirely rosy. However, if you compare him to the previous prime ministers, I feel all of us would agree he has been most effective and productive.
The Congress and other Opposition parties are currently high on their need to push Modi to the ground. It is with confidence that I say none of these parties would know what to do next if they win the polls. Who will be the leader of the so-called pack that is Mahagathbandhan? All these parties have come together only because of their dire need to watch Modi lose. They have little to no plans for the country otherwise. In case, India inadvertently elects them to win, it won't be seconds before they start pulling each other down for the post. On the other hand, the NDA has one , and only one person to take the reins- Shri Narendrabhai Modi.
Well-known politician Harry Emerson Fosdick rightly said, “Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.” A simple man, from simple roots, Modi took the opportunity provided by his office and with competence and potential, did his duty fairly. Now is our chance, to help him run the country better.